Wow...can I say that again? Wow. If you like extreme music, especially stuff that's uber-complex, have a flair for the avant-garde & progressive styles, and love shred guitar, then make sure you check out the sophomore release from New York's Psyopus called Our Puzzling Encounters Considered. First and foremost, guitarist Christopher "Arpmandude" Arp is a MONSTER player who comes across as the long lost love-child of Steve Vai, Frank Zappa, John Coltrane, Les Claypool, and Captain Beefheart. The band itself takes their cue from what The Dillinger Escape Plan started a few years back and have expanded on it, delivering an even more brutal assault that is leagues more complex and maniacal. Most of this is thanks to Arp as well as the dizzying grooves of drummer John Cole and bassist Fred DeCoste. Lead vocalist Adam Frappoli is almost the odd-man out here, as his screams just serve as another instrument alongside the frantic music, and let's be honest, you can really take or leave his average vocal delivery, but it does fit the music.
Check out Arp's weaving, intricate solos over pummeling drum beats on the wild "Insects", or the ultra-complex metallic attack of "The Pig Keeper's Daughter" for proof positive of this band's musical prowess. The song titles are just as hilarious as Frappoli's attempts at delivering discipherable lyrics, but who is really listening for that anyway when all this delicious mayhem is running wild? You'll swear that "Imogeni's Puzzle Pt. 2" is a long lost Steve Vai instrumental track, while "Siobhan's Song" could have easily fit on a 70's Genesis record or Steve Hackett solo album. For sheer brutality, there's bombastic pieces like "Kill Us" and "Whore Meets Liar", which never relent for one second with murderous riffs, screaming vocals, and maniacal rhythms.
Wacky, heavy, progressive, and at times beautiful, this latest from Psyopus is all these things and then some. If you can handle the extreme nature of the vocals, there's lots of unbelievable instrumetal stuff going on here that makes this one of the most unique metal records of the year. Check it out.
1. The Pig Keeper's Daughter
3. Scissor F*** Paper Doll
4. Whore Meets Liar
6. Imogeni's Puzzle Pt. 2
7. Play Some Skynyrd
8. Kill Us
9. Siobhan's Song
10. Happy Valentine's Day
11. Our Puzzling Encounters Considered